Pixar Animation Studios review: Conclusion

I am glad this actually got done within 4 months, and I enjoyed every single moment of it. When I like something, I tend to write more about it, and when reviewing brilliant films that I am invested in, I am in a better mood, and it involves a more insightful review. After the more dire Disneytoons canon, and taking a break in the summer due to work, returning to this was extremely refreshing. It’s a brilliant way to end the year on, which was extremely negative this time last year with the Disneytoon reviews.


Here are my current rankings of the films.

You can tell that the group of people behind these projects have been together since college, and seeing most of them become elders is a bit saddening for me, since the torch will have to be passed  over within the next decade or two.  With roughly a third of these films being conceptualized at a 1994/1995 lunch, and the creative fluctuation of ideas that were encouraged amongst the group, you can tell that they really saw these projects as their babies, and made these films for them firstly. Though there is a lot of sequels now (which is something they claimed to not do), the ideas behind most of them seem more genuine in comparison to most companies. You can really tell that the Pixar crew is a family, and they always pay tribute to the people who passed, whether they were animators, directors, producers, or storyboarders.

I did gloss over the fact that Pixar was not initially an animation studio, and that most of them worked for Lucasfilm first in the 70s (when most of them finished college). With Steve Jobs behind them, a lot of their product was made for computers, and then they slowly started to make shorts. When Disney wanted to partner with them, the idea of Toy Story was conceptualized, and Lasseter was obsessed with making a CGI animated film for over a decade before at that point. It was refreshing of them to not follow the common formula of the 90s, which was set due to the Disney Renaissance as well. I mentioned the infamous lunch that conceptualized most of the earlier works in the canon, and Disney decided to let the studio do their job regarding the production of their films with minimal input, but we know this would cause problems soon enough.

Eras, eras, eras………… Many people do not discuss Pixar into set-in-stone eras, but small, general ones. From what I can predict, I categorize the first 5 films to be in the same era due to Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters, Inc being conceptualized at the same time, and the first 6 films (including The Incredibles) were the films that were made before the conflicts between Disney and Pixar ultimately led to the acquisition deal in 2006.  Cars can be considered a transitional film between both eras, though it is easier to include in the second era. Some people consider the next era to be Pixar’s best era, since the films (not including Cars) consist of the best streak of films, regarding quality of films, awards, box office, critical reception, and overall maturity of the themes. Honestly, you could easily add these two sub-eras into one large era, which is often considered to be Pixar’s “Golden age”. From Cars 2 onward, people see that the quality of their films have decreased, and they are not the top animation studio anymore. It is not that they are horrible, but just a bit inconsistent, which was seen especially regarding the awards, and the fact that a lot more companies entered the animation industry within this decade. With the films that are upcoming (Cars 3, Coco, The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4), the trend seems to continue.

Regarding my personal experience reviewing these films, it was brilliant. I noticed that my stats increased (a lot of the Pixar reviews shot up to being the top posts of the year within……. a day or two), and the reviews tended to be longer in word-length, the more and more I reviewed these films. Being in a positive mindset while reviewing films changes how you argue your point, and how you write, and I noticed the huge contrast compared to early 2016, compared to now. Most of these films I have not seen in years, either due to me blatantly ignoring them since 2013 (knowing I would review Pixar someday), or just not having the opportunity to watch any of them, so reuniting with these films was exhilarating. So many more underlying themes were easier for me to pick up, and seeing the films through an adult eye only made me appreciate most of these films in a better light.

Now, it is the end of the year, and I am aware that a lot of people are winding down for the holidays (heck, it’s why this post is being posted now instead of Sunday). I still have a few posts before the end of the year, one which consists of Females in Pixar films, and what I plan to discuss on the blog for next year. Of course, the Best and Worst Animated Films of 2016, which will be posted on New Years, like always. I won’t be able to write a review of Sing beforehand, but it will be included in the list, since I do plan on going to theaters in the next few days (the second film in a row I am paying to actually watch). Thanks for reading. What do you all think of Pixar as of right now?


6 thoughts on “Pixar Animation Studios review: Conclusion

    1. Honestly, I don’t know which company is my favourite. It was interesting seeing everyone’s opinions on certain Pixar films, since a lot of people had differing opinions. I have a feeling next year will be good for all of us.

  1. So glad you had a positive experience after the Disneytoons madness. Pretty high scores for you for all of them. Pixar has yet to make a movie I hate. I love the studio so much

  2. Congrats on making it through the Pixar canon! It’s great to see you had such a brilliant time reviewing these films.

    I think Pixar has run out of ideas. What made Pixar famous was that they were consistently putting out great original films. They showed the world that they could make films that are critically acclaimed, financially successful and original at the same time. I’ve heard that after 2019 they have no more sequels planned for the time being and they will be releasing two original films in 2020. I think it’s a good thing that Pixar focuses on making original films again because I think them continually making sequels has hurt their brand a little bit.

    I also think that after Disney acquired Pixar, it has affected the quality of their films. When the acquisition happened, John Lasseter was put in charge to rejuvenate WDAS, which is exactly what he did as he took the Pixar model and applied to WDAS. But it seems that he’s done too good of a job as WDAS is now overshadowing Pixar. I think it’s more than just a coincidence that as Pixar’s films started to decline in quality; WDAS’S films began to increase in quality. It seems like John Lasseter is being stretched too thin.

    1. I do think that John Lasseter is being stretched too thin (which is probably why Toy Story 4 has been delayed as many times as it has, since he took it upon himself to make it a love story to his wife). I think a lot of the Pixar veterans are getting a bit old, and in another 10-15 years, I would not be shocked if a lot of them started retiring.

      Regarding the sequel-itis, I know that Finding Dory and The Incredibles 2 were in production at the time they were due to the failures of Tomorrowland and John Carter, somewhat causing Stanton and Bird to focus on Pixar again. They claim that it was a coincidence that a lot of the directors had created ideas for the sequels at the same time, but we will never know. 2020 will probably have 2 original films come out.

      The 2010s have shown that Pixar is a studio that does have faults, and that people need to put them at a generally similar ground as all of the other studios.

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